(WSVN) - A grieving South Florida family wants to know why a Hollywood Police officer shot and killed their loved one. It has been two weeks since the raid on their home, and still they have no answers. 7’s Andrew Scheinthal has the story.
The Hollywood SWAT team left their home in shambles. Broken doors and windows, torn up furniture and glass everywhere.
But for this family, it’s the loss of their brother which has left them outraged.
Lacandis Reid, sister: “We have no clue to anything. We haven’t even seen him.”
Twenty-three-year-old James Leatherwood was home alone. He was asleep on a couch when the Hollywood SWAT team used a flash bang to enter their small apartment.
James was shot and killed.
Lacandis Reid: “As my mom comes on the scene, she’s asking questions. Nobody’s telling her nothing.”
And in the 15 days since the shooting, the family has learned nothing more.
Alton Leatherwood, brother: “The detectives haven’t come to speak to my mom for grievance; the counselor hasn’t come to console her. We haven’t seen my little brother, his body, nothing.”
Hollywood Police conducted the search of the apartment to help with a Miami murder investigation.
In an email, Miami Police confirmed the search was for their case, but said, “Our officers were not at the location when the incident occurred and are not eyewitnesses.”
The family feels caught between the two police agencies.
Alton Leatherwood: “We want answers. We need answers.”
7News obtained court documents that indicate no gun or knife was found inside the apartment during the search.
Alton Leatherwood: “I’ve never seen my little brother with a weapon. Never. If he did, I never knew of it. He’d never been that type. When he came around, it’s all laughs.”
The family admits James had a record. He recently served time for burglary and theft, but they say he did not deserve to be killed by police.
Alton Leatherwood: “As far as like being this person that people are making him out to be, a murderer and stuff like that, that ain’t never been my brother. My brother might hang around the wrong crowd here and there, but we’re human, we make mistakes.”
One of the things that bothers the family most is they can’t even figure out where in the apartment James was shot. There was no blood, no bullet holes.
They said the police won’t tell them anything, and the medical examiner says he can’t release reports on an active investigation.
So this family is vowing to be the voice for James.
Alton Leatherwood: “He’s got a big family. He’s very loved.”
Lacandis Reid: “I’m not gonna stop until I get justice, and I mean it. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. My brother’s gonna fight though me. As long as I know, I’m going to get justice for mine.”
Hollywood Police say their own officers are investigating the shooting, and that the SWAT team members were not wearing body cameras during the raid.
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